Penelope Fitzgerald's novels all share the same stylish economy -
she seems to cover amazing distances in a brief space, but the
landscape of each varies - a houseboat on the Thames, a stage
school, a village bookshop, the British Museum. Innocence is set in
post-war Florence and follows the heart of Chiara, a young Italian
girl of old family, who falls in love with a poor doctor from the
south of Italy. The story is full of twists and surprises. Though
we can never anticipate Chiara's behaviour (or of any of
Fitzgerald's characters) we can recognize and believe it. We are
offered all the unpredictability of life, with extra wisdom,
humour, intelligence, and humanity thrown in. (Kirkus UK)
A new edition of the Booker Prize winner Penelope Fitzgerald's
best-loved novel of romance in post-war Italy, with a new
introduction by Julian Barnes. The Ridolfis are a Florentine family
of long lineage and little money. It is 1955, and the family, like
its decrepit villa and farm, has seen better days. Only
eighteen-year-old Chiara shows anything like vitality. Chiara has
set her heart on Salvatore, a young and brilliant doctor who
resolved long ago to be emotionally dependent on no one. Faced with
this, she calls on her English girlfriend Barney to help her make
the impossible match...
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